After having read The Amazonian Languages and being a little disappointed at the detail it offered, I was not terribly eager to read its companion volume "The Languages of the Andes" that covered those parts of South America not culturally related to the Amazon Basin. My first look through the book in the State Library of Victoria did not make it any more interesting.\r\rHowever, my readings on Mapuche culture and history both within the anthology linked and in more general books about Chile, made me still curious as to what was available on South American linguistics, as did more general readings of WALS on the web.\r\rEventually, when I looked though "The Languages of the Andes" in Melbourne University library, I was very much surprised at the information that was provided, some of which I had actually only learned since my first read of the book browsing WALS. Compared to The Amazonian Languages, "The Languages of the Andes" has a number of advantages. Its coverage is less biased towards the better-known areas and it gives the best possible coverage in English of the extinct languages of the mysteriously primitive cultures of far southern South America, including descriptions of their way of life and how they were demolished by European diseases.\r\rThe Mapuche and far northern (Choco, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta) cultural zones are similarly well-handled. An illustration of the thoroughness of "The Languages of the Andes" can be seen in the inclusion of phonological data for a large number of languages omitted from even the best phonological databases. though a very slight criticism could be found in their failure to study the Chibchan languages of Costa Rica and Panama which belong here rather than in a study of Mesoamerican languages.\r\rThere are also good details on the widely-spoken Quechua and Aymara dialects, and even a chapter on how the Spanish language has evolved in South America.\r\rAll in all, "The Languages of the Andes" is the best of the reference texts in the "Cambridge Language Surveys" and has both well-known and surprising information for the curious linguistics reader - as well as a great deal for the student.